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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a complete change in mindset and the creation of a new world order to deal with challenges such as covid-19.

Speaking at the opening of the 6th Raisina Dialogue, which was also addressed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Modi called on countries to close ranks and work together to defeat the pandemic.

“Why did it come to this? Is it perhaps because in the race of economic development, the concern for welfare of humanity has been left behind? Is it perhaps because in the age of competition, the spirit of cooperation has been forgotten?" Modi wondered.

His remarks echoed those of Kagame, whose message was played out before Modi’s speech. Kagame praised India for the dispatch of vaccines to Africa. “Covid is a public health crisis, but it is also a crisis of international cooperation. Access to vaccines is highly unequal... India, despite its own challenges, has produced most of the vaccine doses sent to Africa under COVAX," he said.

Modi said that in the wake of the two world wars, a new world order emerged, whose sole aim was to prevent a third such war. But while all-out war may not have happened, “a number of proxy wars and unending terror attacks" ensured that “the prospect of violence is ever present".

“Covid-19 has presented us an opportunity to reshape the world order, to reorient our thinking. We must create systems that addresses the problems of today and challenges of tomorrow. We must think of the entire humanity and not merely of those who are on our side of the borders. Humanity as a whole must be at the centre of our thinking and action," the prime minister said.

Modi had previously called for reformed multilateralism to give countries like India a bigger say in global matters. Both Modi and foreign minister S. Jaishankar have said that the reform of multilateral institutions like the UN Security Council was imperative to reflect current realities.

Speaking of India’s own actions during the pandemic, Modi said the government had tried to protect its own people while supporting the response efforts of others.

Referring to India dispatching remdesivir and paracetamol to more than 150 countries in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, Modi said, “We understand fully that mankind will not defeat the pandemic unless all of us, everywhere, regardless of the colour of our passports, come out of it. That is why, this year despite many constraints, we have supplied vaccines to over 80 countries. We know that the supplies have been modest. We know that the demands are huge. At the same time, we also know that hope matters."

Climate change was the theme of Danish PM Frederiksen’s speech. She warned that the climate change crisis had a more far-reaching impact that the covid pandemic and urged all countries to make a success of the Conference of Parties-26 meeting that is to be held in Glasgow in November.

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